The Maclean’s Bachelor Panel: Week 7 — Boredom, boobs and bullying, eh?

Sonya Bell, Colin Horgan and Aaron Wherry on the reality of the Bachelor’s reality


So it's come to this, a Bachelor clip show

Click here to read Colin Horgan’s thoughts.
Click here to read Aaron Wherry’s take.
Click here to read Sonya Bell’s summary.

From: Colin
To: Aaron, Sonya

Grampa Simpson once compared watching “one of those TV shows where they show a bunch of clips from old episodes” to being in a coma. Nineteen years later, that joke has fresh perspective. I’m going to guess this week’s installment is injected into the Bachelor season  because everyone needs a little closure, and what better way to do that than have everyone air their grievances all over again on a stage of precarious chairs? It was like a weird kind of Bachelor Festivus where the only feat of strength is whether you can manage to sit through the whole hour.

But in at least one way, I can’t fault it at all. How else would we have seen that nanosecond outtake from the first episode when Bubba, on learning she was one of the eliminated ladies, heels in hand, shouted “peace the f— out, b–ches!” and clomped her way out of there, shoeless. Totally priceless. Bubba, we so needed you tonight. Because aside from that wonderful clip, were we basically left with a warmed over conversation about whose tits are fake and some half-baked drama between Tia and Brad. Did Tia tell him she wasn’t into him or not when they were in Mexico? I have a better question: Who the hell is Tia?

So, thank goodness for Whitney, I guess, who briefly managed to breathe some life into the thing via her very presence, which in itself was a bit confusing. Does this mean the only one who wasn’t there (Bianka) is the one who Brad chooses in the end? If so, that was a bit of an awful giveaway. So much so, that I can’t imagine it to be the case.

Anyway, Whitney strode in and everyone got their back up. Ana didn’t even clap for her, you guys. Didn’t. Even. Clap. Obviously, this show of what anywhere else might be considered total neutrality was really a signal of hatred. Tyler asked about it, and Ana weighed in on the Whitney situation. Ana thought Whitney bullied other girls, Ana said, but that Whitney didn’t bully Ana because Ana would never take that kind of thing, and maybe it was all a big misunderstanding and Whitney just wanted to be number one, Ana thought, and maybe that’s what Whitney got. Ana and Whitney are probably just two different people, Ana decided a short time later.

Then Whitney had it out with Gabi, as we probably all assumed she would, and in so doing taught us two things. First, Whitney told everyone she’s a confident woman and that – lesson one – all women should be confident, too. (Like Ana?) Whitney also said she never “directly” said anything negative to any girl. She almost immediately followed that up by telling Gabi that “people” had since asked her how she didn’t “knock Gabrielle in the face” and that these same “people” say negative things about Gabi, including that “she’s just blatantly rude.” See? Not directly. Lesson two.

Brad was there too, eventually, saying nice things about Chantelle and of Laura B’s shattered, shattered heart. He also told everyone that Kara and he had a moment when they said goodbye where they both realized there was nothing there. I know the feeling, Brad. I had a moment like that with my TV tonight. It lasted about an hour.


From: Aaron
To: Colin, Sonya

To be honest, I kind of enjoyed the montage of boobs. Of all the montages shown this week, it was the only one that seemed important. It felt like a metaphor for something. Or maybe it just felt real. Or at least blatant. Enough with all this contrivance, here are some breasts. Thank you to the producers for finally getting to the heart of the matter.

I’ll also found at least three other reasons for reflection in this episode (this blog is basically now my own personal reflection journal).

First, the clip of Brad making out with someone (Bianka maybe?) in which, just for a moment, his right eye opens and he looks back at the camera that is watching him make out. If I’m going to watch people make out, I’d like to be able to imagine that they are not aware of the fact that I am watching them make out. (If I ever run for political office, that’s the sentence that will be clipped for the attack ads.) And not acknowledging the general presence of cameras, except when recording those personal testimonials, is probably something like the first rule of reality television. That fleeting glance from Brad made me feel awkward and weird. And I’m pretty sure only the people in front of the cameras are supposed to feel that way.

Second, Whitney’s declaration that if the other ladies weren’t as willing as she was to pursue Brad then maybe they weren’t there for the “right reasons.” Being there for the “right reasons” is the second commandment of reality TV competition. In this case, presumably, Whitney meant being there in order to fall in love with and win the heart of Brad and then live happily ever after. Of course, this is completely insane. There are only two reasons to ever agree to appear on the Bachelor: to get on TV and to possibly have some relatively harmless fun in the process of getting on TV. Within the “reality” of the Bachelor, that reasoning would make you a terrible person who was not there for the right reasons. But in reality, those are the only reasonable explanations. Possibly this explains why Whitney has been struggling as the show has reached its conclusion: she has begun to realize the bizarre nature of her existence and is now slipping into a profound existential crisis. I bet in the season finale she ends up just laying on the ground blank-faced like those people in the music video for Radiohead’s Just.

Finally, Stephanie, the model/neuroscientist. Who? Exactly. Did you know there was a model-slash-neuroscientist on this show? There was. Honest. She was eliminated after two episodes. She appeared again last night, only I don’t believe she actually said anything. So a model-slash-neuroscientist—note: she also apparently speaks five languages—was placed into a reality TV dating competition and subsequently disappeared without making any impact of any kind. How is this even possible? Shouldn’t she have been able to last longer on resume alone? In what weird version of reality is an attractive neuroscientist casually dismissed? For that matter, why is a model-slash-neuroscientist even on this show? Am I to believe that a model-slash-neuroscientist has a hard time getting a date?

I want to know so much more about Stephanie. I want her to run for Liberal leader. I want to pitch CBS a one-hour drama about a model-slash-neuroscientist who solves crimes. I want a public inquiry into how this woman managed to pass through this show like a smart, accomplished, attractive ghost.

Maybe she’s dreadfully boring. Or maybe she explains everything about the reality of the Bachelor’s reality.

From: Sonya
To: Colin and Aaron

I really like that Colin’s take-away from the bachelorette tell-all episode is boredom and Aaron’s is boobs. You don’t often see those go together. To this list, I’ll add bullying, though with a caveat.

The Bachelor Canada is a “truly made in Canada fairytale,” host Tyler Harcott says. It’s true. Far from the hair-pulling barn-burner the preview promised, the lesson at the end of this polite, if strained, reunion episode seemed to be that everyone is beautiful on the inside and outside and sorry about all the previous name-calling, eh?

Even rebel bachelorette Melissa Marie couldn’t muster up anything worse than a complaint that Brad was a disappointing choice because “He’s nice, but there’s a lot of nice guys out there.”

The episode was at its most wholesome when it sought to deal with Gabrielle, one of our favourite Bachelor Canada villains. A montage of the Oakville native’s time on the show saw her tell the cameras: “Yeah, a lot of skanks around here” and “Whitney, she’s the kind of girl guys would throw some dollar bills at and she’d come running.” The bachelorettes and the audience growled and turned to her, and Laura F. piped up that she thought Gabi was a production plant the first night at the mansion, because “Who comes in and stirs up that shit?”

This is where things would have gotten real on Jersey Shore, or even on Sarah Palin’s Alaska. Instead, Britney gently interjected to settle the matter, with the gravitas of the Queen. She told Gabi that the things she says are not facts, they’re opinions, and it’s bullying when she behaves that way. “I do love you. I do. It’s just that some of the things you say can be mean.”

AND EVERYONE CLAPPED. The epic showdown was over. It lasted maybe two minutes. This ultimately happened each time one girl came under fire —even Whitney, Britney said, is someone she admires because of her strength. AND WHITNEY WEPT.

So here’s my question. If we all love each other deep down, and understand that Gabi is just insecure when she bullies and Whitney is maybe just an aspiring actress, why are we dragging them in front of a live audience for this girl-on-girl hate?

Here’s what Tina Fey’s character from Mean Girls would have to say about it: “You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it OK for guys to call you sluts and whores.”

Let’s move on to the final episode and see what Brad’s family make of Bianka and Whitney. I think we’re all ready for the sober second thought of a Senator. 

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The Maclean’s Bachelor Panel: Week 7 — Boredom, boobs and bullying, eh?

  1. I like that you believe the best in “reality” television and assume that Bianka won. (I put reality in “” not because it is not real, but because editing removes so much of the reality, splits scenes/days to create drama. Which it totally ok, because it gets ratings) I assume quite the opposite. I believe Bianka wasn’t there because she WASN’T chosen, and was too heartbroken to discuss the matter. But, I guess that opinion makes it not matter if she was there or not. Even though we love her.

  2. Whitney is a waitress at cactus Club in Calgary, Not an admin assistant unless she’s “between jobs”

  3. Here’s what the attack ad will clip, Aaron: “I’m going to watch people make out EDIT they are not aware EDIT I am watching them make out.

    Your leering head will be in grainy black and white juxtaposed against a full colour montage of boobs bouncing around your grainy head.

    Final ominous VO: Aaron Wherry. He didn’t watch unaware people make out for you.

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